These are pretty common and aren’t indicative of a serious health problem but they are a nuisance, sometimes painful and may cause embarrassment.
They are most common on hands and feet, but may also appear on eyelids, on the face and elsewhere on the body. They can grow in clusters or singly and have a rough skin surface that looks similar to cauliflower, sometimes a black spot is visible in the middle of it.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is what causes them and yes, that means they’re contagious (it’s a viral infection). It can be picked up from someone else or may spread to another part of the body from one you already have.
Their removal is a simple procedure performed by a doctor (either by freezing, burning or laser) but for those who prefer treating themselves or if looking for some home remedy ideas, here is a list of over 50 methods and tips I have collected over time. Most are applied externally (on top of skin) but I’ve included a few immunity system boosters that are recommended to be consumed (daily if possible) to help the body fight the virus and get rid of them.
When beginning a chosen method, be aware that depending on the size and type of wart, it can take weeks to get rid of–sometimes months. The sooner you start (preferably when first noticing one developing), the quicker it is to get rid of. If progress is experienced with a particular solution, keep at it and be patient. Plenty of times it will just disappear on its own (as the body builds up immunity against the virus), but you can try one of the suggestions below if you’d like to speed things up.
Before getting started, wash area clean with soap and water then pat dry with a clean towel. Also wash hands with soap and water before handling remedy. Wash hands again after applying to prevent further infection.
Here’s a list of ideas to start with, the rest are organized in sections below. Do daily unless otherwise directed.
(Items marked with a * should be covered with a bandaid after applying remedy)
- *Apple Cider Vinegar: Saturate a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar (ACV) and dab on affected area. Do this nightly before bed, remove in the morning. Good for all types, recommended especially for Plantar and flat warts.
- White Household Vinegar & Baking Soda: Sprinkle a heavy coat of baking soda on the area then drizzle vinegar over it. Do this once in the morning and once at night.
- Bandaids Or Tape: Known as the duct tape treatment, keep the area wrapped tight in tape (without cutting off circulation) 24/7 until it disappears. Bandaids, duct tape, packing tape and scotch tape will all work with the same results.
- *Baking Soda: Slather on a thick paste made with baking soda and water.
- Clear Nail Polish: Paint it with a coat of clear nail polish, reapply as needed.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Dab on using a cotton swab.
- *Toothpaste: Dab regular toothpaste generously on top.
- *Aspirin: Rub with olive oil then place an aspirin tablet on top. Change daily. Or crush an aspirin tablet fine then add a few drops of water to make a paste.. Watch on sensitive skin.
- *Vitamin C Tablet: Mix a thick paste of finely crushed Vitamin C tablet and water.
Fruit & Vegetables
- Potatoes: Cut a potato in half and rub the potato juice over the area.
- Lemons: Rub a slice of lemon over area for 5 minutes twice/day. Can also dab lemon juice directly on it.
- Limes: Same as lemons.
- Bananas: Cut a piece of banana skin just bigger than the size of the wart. Place the peel white side down on top of it then secure with tape to hold in place. Can also rub the it with a fresh slice of banana.
- Eggplant: Cut a thin slice of eggplant just a bit larger than the wart and hold in place with a piece of tape. Good for children or those with sensitive skin.
- *Onion: Rub a slice of freshly cut onion twice/day. Can also sprinkle onion slice with salt first. Another suggestion is to drizzle lemon juice over area first then a freshly cut piece of onion.
- *Carrots: Grate a fresh carrot then mix with olive oil until the result is a thick paste. Do this twice/day until it disappears.
- *Apples: Use a freshly cut slice of apple and secure in place. Change twice/day.
- *Garlic: A few variations for this one: Crush garlic then cover area completely with the garlic. Do this every night before bed. Also dab on the juice of garlic twice/day. Each night at bedtime apply a slice of garlic.
- *Figs: Mix mashed fig with a bit of olive oil.
- *Radishes: Cut a slice of radish just the size of the wart.
- Pineapple: A freshly cut piece of pineapple morning, noon and night until it is gone.
Oils & Extracts
- Witch Hazel: Rub Witch Hazel into spot a couple times a day.
- Clove Oil: Mix a few drops of clove oil with olive oil.
- *Vitamin E Oil: Rub into spot, do this three times/day.
- *Vitamin A Oil: Rub into spot, do this three times/day.
- *Garlic Capsule Oil: Rub into spot each morning.
- *Castor Oil: Rub into area a couple times each day. Can also mix baking powder or baking soda and castor oil into a paste.
- *Grapefruit Seed Extract: Add a few drops to the pad of a bandaid then cover.
- *Oil of Oregano: Mix a few drops with olive oil then drizzle on the pad of a bandaid–cover spot.
- *Lavender Essential Oil: Carefully dab with a drop of Lavender EO.
- *Geranium Essential Oil: Mix a few drops with olive oil then drizzle on the pad of a bandaid.
- *Lemon Essential Oil: Mix a few drops with olive oil then drizzle on the pad of a bandaid.
- *Tea Tree Oil: (also known as Melaleuca Oil) Dab two times a day with tea tree oil until the bump disappears. Remove bandaid at bedtime.
- *Frankincense: Apply a drop. Do this twice a week.
- *Vegetable Oil: Smother it with a thick coat of vegetable oil. Do this each night before bed and first thing in the morning.
- Wheat Germ Oil: Dab pure, organic wheat germ oil over area twice/day (once in the morning and once at night).
Herbs & Plants
- *Dandelions: Use dandelion milk from the stem of a dandelion. Do this two times/day until it is removed.
- *Aloe Vera: Use the gel from an aloe vera plant then top with a cotton ball. Change twice/day.
- *Basil Leaves: Crush fresh basil leaves and cover the spot.
- Marigolds: Break open marigold leaves and use the plant juice.
- Milkweed: A Native American solution is to rub the milk from a milkweed plant into the area several times/day until it has been removed.
Soaking daily in baths will soften them which will help them to respond to treatment. Can also help fight the virus and prevent infection. This is worthwhile doing before sloughing the skin with an emery board or pumice stone (notes on that below in the “Tips” area).
- Soak in a warm bath of baking soda and water.
- Soak in a hot bath of Epsom salt and water.
- Soak in very hot water until it becomes lukewarm (don’t have the water so hot it burns). Plain hot water is fine but some vinegar can also be added.
Beef up the immunity system so your body can fight the virus internally. Here are a few suggestions:
- Cabbage: Eat a lot of fresh, raw cabbage.
- Garlic: Add fresh, chopped garlic to food whenever possible. Can also take garlic pills or capsules.
- Limes: Squeeze fresh lime juice over food or add fresh lime juice to a glass of water and drink this twice/day.
- Broccoli: Eat fresh, raw broccoli.
- Oranges: Eat an orange once/day.
- Bananas: Good for potassium, eat one a day to fight the virus.
- Onions: Top everything suitable with chopped fresh onion, preferably raw but cooked is fine too.
- Wheat Germ: Supplement diet with either wheat germ or wheat germ oil to boost daily Vitamin E intake.
- Although it’s not recommended to cut or pick at one since that may cause bleeding, scarring or an infection, using a fresh emery board to gently scrub it before applying a treatment or right after a soak when the rough skin is softer is usually fine–just don’t overdo it. Throw the emery board out after each scraping and use a fresh one each time.
- Children are more susceptible to them since their immunity systems aren’t as strong as adults, be aware that their skin is more sensitive than ours. Carefully watch reactions so no burns appear (aspirin for example can be harsh on sensitive or young skin).
- Cover any cuts or scrapes on the body with a bandaid while you have a wart–those little openings are a perfect environment for the virus to settle in and encourage new growth.
- Don’t scratch or pick at it, this will spread the virus.
- Plantar Warts: These are usually found on the soles of feet. If you have one, make sure to wear socks at all times or keep it covered with a bandaid. If walking barefoot around the house, the rest of the family could pick it up as well as encourage more growth on your feet. When swimming, make sure to wear pool shoes so you don’t spread the virus to the rest of the public.
- If something is working and it’s getting smaller but the surrounding area is getting irritated, try applying some olive oil or vaseline to the healthy area before applying treatment, this can help protect it from irritation.
This information is simply a collection of home remedies – not professional medical advice. Please seek a doctor’s opinion when unsure or to confirm appropriate treatment.
Have I missed your favorite tried & true? Please share with everyone in the section below (lots of suggestions so far, thanks!).